the finale: brooklyn botb 2017 comes to an end this friday

August 9, 2017

This Friday, August 11th, Battle of the Bands 2017 comes to a close. After several rounds consisting of fan votes on Soundcloud, live performances at The Knitting Factory, and votes from the AFROPUNK team themselves, the top 5 will battle it out in one final round.

Before the big day, learn a little bit about our Battle of the Bands Brooklyn Top 5. One of these 5 will take the AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2017 stage!

Courtnee Roze (The Culture)

Described by Brooklyn Roads as a “firecracker of a woman…truly a delight to watch”, percussionist, lyricist writer and bandleader Courtnee Roze heads an instrumental fusion and percussion-driven band. Her instruments of choice are djembe and congas. She is a veteran to the stage having performed with artists like J. Cole, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Tony Award-winner Lachanze (The Color Purple), Cirque Du Soleil and more. She’s performed at iconic NYC venues like Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, Joe’s Pub, and National Sawdust. Roze is determined to use her percussion-driven collective to create a culture of its own. Listen to some of Roze’s freedom filled music here →

Tang Sauce

Born and raised in Hartford, CT and the greater Hartford area, Tang has always been heavily involved in his hometown arts scene. He’s been in productions like The Wiz, A Raisin in the Sun, and Night Fall. Abiodun of the Legendary Last Poets named Tang “a torch bearer for the direction that hip hop is going”. In addition to acting and music Tang has hosted the Trinity International Hip Hop festival. He also has his own Pandora radio station! Hear some of Tang Sauce’s work here →

Ethan Piper and the Instigation

For the last 6 years, NYC based band Ethan Piper and the Instigation have been regular performers at Pianos NYC. In 2016, the band consisting of Ethan Piper (vocals, guitar), Andrew Shaw (guitar), David Moore (drums), and Ben Leavitt (bass) recorded a 6 song EP at Studio G in Brooklyn. One of their standout songs, (and the song that initially won them a place in our Battle of the Bands program), “People Get Ready” is a powerful rock anthem. The band dedicates that song to humanity. In just a few weeks the song reached 35K plays worldwide. “In these times, America needs its voices raised up and singing. We just felt that song was a right fit for everything AFROPUNK stands for”, Ethan Piper. Check out their inspiring music on soundcloud →

Qaasim and the Juggernaut War Party

You’ve probably seen Qaasim on American Idol, Naked Brothers Band, HBO’s Music in Me, Netflix’s The Get Down and FX’s Atlanta. When he’s not filming television shows you can find him on stage as the Frontman for his band, Qaasim and the Juggernaut War Party. The self described “21 year old hedgehog” from Brooklyn created the Juggernaut War Party for AFROPUNK’s 2015 Battle of the Bands Brooklyn. Aside from Qaasim Middleton (lead vocals, guitar) the Juggernaut War Party consists of his little brother Khalil (vocals, MPC), lead guitarists Jonah Hudson, Emmet Sher and Joseph Deadwiley, drummer Andres Valbuena, keyboardists Jack Gruber, Tyjhai Stephens and Francisco Haye, with Ethan Cohn and Paul Johnson on bass. Listen to the sounds of the Juggernauts here →


22 year old Florida native and NYC based Shacar began pursuing music 3 years ago. He studies theatre, dance and acting at The Pinellas County Center for the Arts, one of Florida’s top performing arts high schools. After high school, Shacar went on to attend Pace University where he majored in Musical Theatre. Financial turmoil and not having a place to live led to Shacar’s decision to take a leave from university. Since leaving school Shacar has interned at Hot 97 and signed to an independent label “Paradice Records”, with whom he released his first EP “Chapter One: Screaming Without A Voice” in the summer 2015. This EP was followed by its successor “Chapter Two: Screaming Without A Voice” that same summer. Some of his performance credits include: SXSW in Austin Texas, New Skool Rules Music Conference in Holland, and SOB’s in NYC. Check out Shacar’s sound here →

Make sure to come to The Knitting Factory Friday August 11th to support these legends in the making! Tickets are available HERE.

Photos by Dennis Manuel